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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Chat with Cemi Guzman...Actor and Producer

"It's my life. No rules." Cemi
"If I was a Jedi there's a 100% chance I would use the force inappropriately." Cemi
 

My latest interview is with Cemi Guzman who is an actor as well as producer of the film "Hold On" which will be in theaters next year. From his pictures, you can also see that he's a model as well as  philosopher who shares beautiful and poignant messages on Instagram and wears some of the coolest hats.  
I had the pleasure of meeting Cemi at the Grand IndieWise Film Festival in Miami in late August of this year.  I viewed the trailer of his film  along with many other films and trailers from filmmakers from all over the world  including Atlanta's very own Frederick Nah IV's film "The Run Saga: Breathe" which captivated the audience there in Miami. The festival was hosted by Jarrod Knowles of Miami.  
I'm looking forward to the release of  "Hold On" from what I've read and seen is that this film will touch your heart and give you HOPE  that this world needs so much more of. I believe it will also encourage you to go for your dreams as well even when the odds seem against you. The film description is below from the Facebook page of "Hold On".

Inspired by true events, 'Hold On' tells the story of Sidney Rhodes, a talented mixed race singer who must fight to keep her personal dreams and family life alive while working at a small Los Angeles church. As she encounters a string of disappointing auditions and struggles to save her brother from a life of addiction, Sidney eventually meets 25-year-old Vic Duran, the rebellious son of a famed music manager who greets her with an unlikely proposal. Armed with contrasting personalities and differing opinions on life and music, Sidney and Vic soon find themselves on an unexpected creative journey…where hope and redemption appear on the horizon, but the pains of the past make it difficult to hold on.
Starring
Micayla De Ette
Tarek Tohme
Luis Guzman
Maurice Benard
Flavor Flav
Beth Grant
John Savage
Mia St. John
Alvaro Orlando
Mikel Butle

Introducing Cemi...actor and producer

What do you love about your life right now?

I am loving all of it currently, working on a vast amount of different projects. I get to create, work with amazing people, and most importantly I am free to choose my projects. It does take a lot of work and humility, but I have the energy & motivation, I might as well use it while I have it.

What has the journey been like being part of the film “Hold On” as producer and actor?

It has been a wonderful experience! From working with a dear friend in Tarek Tohme, to being inspired by the breathtaking Micayla de Ette, it was an awe-inspiring adventure. Something we all worked extremely hard to put together and something I will never forget.

As producer of a film, were there any difficult tasks?

I would say that while producing any sort of project, there are going to be so many difficult tasks everyday. We prepare  and we prepare, over and over until the day of production , and somehow there are problems you could have never anticipated. I tend to go to work, saying to myself  “well, what mountain do I need to climb today?” Meaning you never know what that day is going to bring and although it can be extremely tough and sometimes stressful, I like it.

When will the film be out in theaters?

“Hold On the movie” comes out in theaters in February of 2018.


Is there any particular actor that you would like to work with in a film?

Oh wow, actually so many actors & actresses. Some that are extremely talented friends and some are those that I really look up too, naming a few; John Malkovich, Alen Arkin, (both legends) Queen Latifah, (The Queen) Lin-Manuel Miranda, (The genius) Adrien Brody, Alfredo Woodard, Don Cheadle, I would love to work with Maurice Benard and Kevin Corrigan again. I would have loved to have worked with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams (both so extremely unique & wonderful people)

In the roles that you have played so far, do you have a favorite one?

I like to think I am lucky enough to have not played my favorite role yet. I am looking forward to the many vast roles that are in my future.


In one of your pics with your dad Luis, your caption says “Never too young to build an EMPIRE, never too old to chase a DREAM” which I love. What kind of empire are you building and with whom do you want to build it with?

It is one of my favorite quotes, aside from the one I have tattooed on my wrist “be the change."
In 2018,  I will begin a special new journey, I will be launching my production company, sharing those untold stories with a strong team. We have spent years creating a foundation for this company, and now is a great time to share it.

Who do you look up to in the entertainment industry and why? 

Oh that is easy, absolutely no one comes to mind… I’m kidding, of course Luis Guzman. A mentor, a loving person and most importantly a father who is always looking out for my best interest.

You seem to have many avenues of passion in creating…from acting, filmmaking, your writing from captions on your pics on IG as well as painting and playing guitar, what drives it, and where do you get your passion for creating?

 If I had to use the word passion, I would say I have the passion to learn. Before I had so many scripts to go through, I would love reading and learning. I was terrible at learning what a teacher wanted me to learn, but if I like something or want to pursue something, I am all in.


Do you think that if you stop creating….you’ll die? And I don’t mean as in death, but really stop living a life worth living?

Similar to the other question, I think everyone is creating on some sort of level everyday. I think that the moment I stop questioning or challenging or believing it is one way and there can not be another, that would not be living.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

Wow, legacy is definitely a sizable word. I would say, even though my projects take a lot of time, currently I am tremendously present and I like to think that keeps me grounded. Presently I am focused on challenging the pattern of feature films we see, while also finding, & brining up a new wave of talent.


What are you currently working on?

Well as you can image, I can not say a lot. There may be a couple of special projects. 
I have always wanted to do a heartfelt, coming-of-age story in Vermont. 

With you being a guy driven by passion and creativity and vision,  would you agree with Albert Einstein when he said “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”? 

 I would agree.


If there was one thing you could change in the world, what would that be?

Only one thing?! 

Yes, one thing...

That is tough. I would say the way we treat the earth, I would like to see change. There have been so many wonderful ideas for clean energy throughout time, I believe we had the opportunity for so many other paths, especially when Nikola Tesla and so many other great futurist / scientists were alive, and instead we went with fossil fuels. It is an interesting thought; what if we had been using clean energy this whole time? What would our world look like? I enjoy thinking about that, it is a small motivator to try to be better to this planet.

I agree, it does make me ponder as well how different our world would be. One of my favorite questions I like to inquire of my guests: 
Tell me three fun facts about you.

I love writing hand written letters, sometimes and only sometimes, the original way is better.
I have a notable way I enjoy celebrating a big success. I love sleeping in and when I do wake-up, I learn how to cook an amazing, decorative breakfasts for myself with some champagne. Of course the reason I slept in, is because the night before I didn't get any sleep, thinking about the delicious breakfast…
When I do get the chance to not be busy, I enjoy going to Vermont and being outside as much as I can, I like to think those are my vacations.

And you know, who doesn't like to sleep in and drink champagne? One final question I share motivational quotes with my readers, do you have one you can share that motivates you or inspires you?

 “ I am betting on myself, the strange and usual"


"I love the idea of not being what people expect me to me." Cemi




To learn more Cemi Guzman, please follow him on social media.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cemiguzman/


More information about the film:
"Hold On" the movie: https://www.facebook.com/pg/holdonthemovie/about/?ref=page_internal




Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Phoenix 4 Productions Hurricane Relief Fundraiser



Imagine enduring hurricane Irma and Harvey, asking yourself, "what's next?"  Then right after that we had the earthquake in Mexico and then most recently hurricane Maria to hit Puerto Rico. There are millions who are left homeless, displaced, and will be living in shelters for weeks on end. In this world with the natural disasters, we feel helpless. The aftermath of it all is when we can come together and help. 

Phoenix 4 Productions is raising funds for those in need of relief from the hurricanes that swept Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Collectively, these hurricanes are the biggest natural disaster in our nation's history.

Now is your chance to contribute to relief efforts. Please donate or sign up for our relief team. Donations will go directly to help families who need to recover and repair from these natural disasters. The funds will go to support efforts in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas.

In October, Dannie Charania from Phoenix 4 Team will be going to Houston to help with the clean up and help feed those who were affected. As part of the team, I will spread the word and donate funds as well. It's important to come together and support those who have been affected and show the love.

Please help us reach our goal by donating and spreading the word by sharing this post and the link to the gofundme page. 


Thank you! 

Maria Rochelle
Team Phoenix4
Public Relations








Here's the direct link to donate to the cause :
https://www.gofundme.com/phoenix4relief

Here is more information on Phoenix4Productions:
https://www.facebook.com/visionphoenix4/




Monday, 11 September 2017

Chat with Erman Baradi called "Top Networker" by Huffington Post

Erman in LA 






You've been called "Top Networker" by The Huffington Post and "Next In Hollywood" by NXUP Magazine. How does that make you feel?

No shame - I'm going to pull the Asian American card! I'm trying to represent! I think it's cool I am getting that recognition. For me, it's affirmation that I'm in the right industry. In 2011, I was let go from the first and only office job I ever had. Even then I picked my own hours. Still, I knew then I would pursue an entertainment career full on. Other people are watching what I'm doing, so I'm grateful that other people gave me those titles. I am sure there others like me, but I'm not complaining. I'll take the titles! I haven't even sold a script yet or made a big Hollywood movie, so it means a lot so have eyeballs on me already.  Who knows, maybe Erman Baradi, Forbes 30 Under 30 is next.



How did you start networking and what advice can you give to someone who doesn't have much experience? What does it mean as well?



Well, I'm from Virginia so for me in my 20's it was about connecting to an industry on the other side of the country. I had to strategize. It wasn't going to be a situation where I move to LA with $20 and get a food service job and wait for something to happen. I knew I would live with my parents for a while to cut costs. I would travel back and forth to build sky mileage and lay a foundation before making the full move. I did my first Hollywood internship to slap it on my resume. Then, I went to work on my social media and branding myself. Then, I started doing interviews first to network with talents, managers, agents, and publicists. Got a writing gig without prior interview experience so I spent my last $5 on a Rolling Stone and figured it out. Companies started hiring me for events. Then, when I ventured into panel events I used those contacts to get guest speakers. From there, I no longer had to work on referrals but directly contact industry reps. My advice would be to do something big that separates yourself from others vying for the same work you are. People work remotely nowadays. You can do anything with the internet.

From the networking, you started event producing. What is your favorite thing about it?

I would say the purpose of it all is to see other lives be impacted. We've received testimonials of people who've landed meetings or reps after attending our events, and some who found collaborators on projects. Sometimes, I think back to the beginning and wonder what if I never took the plunge into events and even interviews. What if I never took the internship that started it all. Groups of people would have never met.

I think this is like our third interview, and each time you  have something new and exciting going on. From producing events and now producing a film. How did that all start?

From event producer to film producer, I love it. The first time we interviewed I was solo. That was almost two years ago. My MixKnowledgy and The Film Empire partner Brandon Waites is a good tag team partner. We’re both hustlers and networkers. Admittedly, it can be hard having a partner. It’s been proven that I can do things alone. So imagine going from 100% to 50% on something I can do solo, giving up some freedoms and taking a pay cut. But, it is always beneficial to to have that second voice to see something that you may not see. We are both about the bigger picture, our end goals. Sometimes one of us can meet someone and the other can help the relationship flourish. I randomly connected with screenwriter Jeff Howard on Twitter for one of our contests, and Brandon was able to help segue that relationship into a filmmaking relationship. At this point in time we can’t talk too much about it, but we are grateful Jeff has been so supportive and faithful of our team.


What as a producer do you do for those who don't know what a producer does in Hollywood?

I am still a "new guy" so I'm still learning admittedly. But something I can tell you is it deals with a lot of putting out fires. We have to keep the cast and crew motivated and make sure there are as less headaches as possible. The director has to be able to work without huge problems getting in the way. It's funny watching a movie with friends who simply enjoy movies and are not interested in the business. They don't know how much crap these people have to go through to get the movie made.

What's next for you? Any more events?

Adding up all the events, we've hit 300 speakers which is a milestone. We also have our ongoing filmmaking and screenwriting mentorship contests through The Film Empire! We named the winner of our first filmmaking mentor contest this summer, and those meetings took place at the end of July and early August. Great mentor lineups! Our first mentor winner Daniel Mentz of Slipaway had invaluable meetings across the board. Then, we are now announcing the winners to our three screenwriting contests and our horror film contest in which the winner makes a film under the mentorship of our horror lineup with filmmakers from Insidious, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Saw franchise, Don't Breathe, It, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Bates Motel. Very soon, we are announcing our Female Filmmaking Mentorship Contest called The Fempire with over a dozen mentors. This will be one of our greatest mentor lineups to date. Visit thefilmempire.com for info.
We just had an event collaborating with UCLA’s Bruin Entertainment Network highlighting women in television and film, which included speakers from LA LA LAND, THE DEFENDERS, NARCOS, 13 REASONS WHY, HBO, Legendary, and more! October 14th I launched my side project highlighting Asian American success stories called Innovasian. We have a VFX panel on October 25th (hollywoodvfx.eventbrite.com) and a horror film panel on October 26th (horrorgathering.eventbrite.com). On November 9th we are in NYC with a film panel (mixknownyc.eventbrite.com) AND music panel (projectmusenyc.eventbrite.com) for the first time together. We then hit Miami on November 14th. More details soon on that. Follow us on social media for details. In November, I am celebrating my birthday for the first time in LA! So, I am offering my friends 3 chances to celebrate with me in case they can't make other dates. Knocking this all out before the holidays! I have a casting Q&A on November 11th with casting director Jessica Sherman (castingwithjs.eventbrite.com), and birthday dinner and panel on November 15th at The Parlor in West Hollywood (partyatparlor.eventbrite.com), and finally my club night celebration at The Reserve in DTLA on November 17th (hollywoodchills.eventbrite.com). Plenty more to come! I hope to acquire more film work with my team. Brandon and I just started representing this really talented horror filmmaker named Isaac Rodriguez. Check out his YouTube channel No Sleep. Exciting things to come from our soon to be launched Waites Baradi Entertainment venture. And in regards to my personal brand, I am launching a venture with my siblings called BarCada ("barkada" means gathering in the Filipino dialect Tagalog). 
Who do you look up to in the entertainment industry?
It's awesome to see folks like John Cho and Steven Yeun getting major roles in film and television. Also, my girl Angela Kang is super inspiring. She is a writer and executive producer on The Walking Dead, one of my favorite shows, and spoke at a previous event of ours. I just recently connected with another Asian American writer and producer, Melinda Hsu Taylor, whose credits include The Gifted, The Vampire Diaries, and Lost. I get inspired to see these Asian Americans making waves in the industry. Outside of Asian Americans...our contest winner and I had dinner with writer-producer Bekah Brunstetter of This Is Us this past summer. It is my absolute favorite show right now and she spent some of her younger years in my home state of Virginia. So, that's always great to see someone from my home state make it.






Do you think that entertainers and writers can change the world or our perspective on it?


Absolutely! Politics is such a turn off to the majority of people, but what do most people do? Watch movies and television. I believe entertainment is one of those most immediate forms of influence. A impactful piece of cinema SHOULD change your perspective on life.


For those who are getting to know you, tell me three fun facts about you.


I don't know if these are fun facts, but maybe these are interesting to women - um, people. I'm a Sagitarrius. My favorite store is H&M. And my current favorite music artists are Ed Sheeran and JC Cooper.

Final question, What keeps you going to do what you do from event producing to now film producing? What inspires YOU?

I want to make movies, so I can use the platform for social good. My goal is to one day launch foundations and charities that truly change lives. Being in the arts, of course, art programs would be one of them. I want to see other careers launch thanks to what we do. But in addition to that I would love to be able to contribute to programs that are not entertainment related like disaster relief and giving a hand up - not a hand out - to the homeless.

Follow Erman on social media: 






Monday, 4 September 2017

Interview with Marina Amaral of Brazil




Coronation of Queen Elizabeth on June 2, 1953


I'm so excited today to share with you an interview  with Marina Amaral who specializes in photo colorization. She combines two of my favorite things: history and photography. She takes a black and white photo which has usually has some historic interest and puts her special touch and transforms the picture to color. She also goes in detail of who is in the picture and gives you some information on them. Read more about her in this interview. 


How long have you’ve been restoring and colorizing black and white photos?

I started two years ago, in 2015.

What is the first one you ever did? 


I think it was a portrait of a Confederate soldier of the American Civil War. Now I look at it and I think it’s terrible, but I felt really proud when I managed to finish it.


What do you love about colorizing black and white photos?

I love to look at a photo in color for the first time and feel that I’m giving myself and the viewer the opportunity to see that particular event or person in color for the first time ever. It’s almost a magical feeling.


With all your pictures,they all seem to be tied to history.I’ve enjoyed looking at many of them. I see them and I think “it’s now” instead of say 1925 when the actual photo was taken.How does it make you feel as an artist to show the photos in a different light which colors can do to any photograph and do you see  yourself as an artist? I think you are and that you create beautiful magic with your skills.

Thank you! This practice of colorization of black and white photos involves lots of  different things – research, historical knowledge, ability to use the software, but it also involves and requires an artistic sensibility, which is something that makes all the difference, in my opinion. I had never seen myself as an artist before, but now I realize that not everything depends on the technique. You need to have this sensibility to be able to look at the black and white photo and create in your mind the image that you want to reproduce. So when I look at the photo for the first time, I immediately begin to visualize the lightning, the atmosphere that I’d like to create, the details and the colors that I want to use.



Your first book “Colour of Time” which will which you collaborated with bestselling historian Dan Jones on. I actually read about you through Dan Jones' twitter feed and became fascinated with your work through him. How did you and Dan come up with the idea and how did you decide to pick which photographs?

Dan and I met and he invited me to develop this project a little over a year ago. He already had the concept on his mind, which was something that I loved since the beginning. We are trying to tell a story not only through the texts, but also through the photographs. So they are not being randomly chosen.


What can the readers expect to see with the book?

We’re going to talk about the history of every nation of the world from 1850s to 1950s, which means that we are covering a hundred years of world history on this first book. We are talking not only about events that have taken place in Europe and the United States, but are also exploring facts that are little known but which are highly important in the history of places such as China, Japan, Canada, Mexico,  etc. We have 200 exclusive colorized photos and Dan’s narrative anchoring each image in its chronological context. It’s a format that has never been explored before. We have high expectations, and hopefully, people will appreciate the effort that we’re putting on it. I can guarantee it will be a fantastic book!


Do you have a favorite period in history? 

I love the medieval era.


Is there a photograph that you would like to restore and colorize that you haven’t had a chance to do? 

I’d like to do something with the photographs of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force in World War II, but unfortunately it is very hard to have access to them in high resolution.


Do you have a favorite one and if so why?

My favorite is the one of Czeslawa Kwoka, the young girl that was murdered in Auschwitz, for a number of reasons. I wanted to give her the chance to present herself, to “say” her name and to tell her story. Judging by the messages that I receive almost every day, I think I managed to do that and I feel very glad and proud of it.


Tell me three fun facts about you.

I can tell you three random facts about me.
  • I was hit by a truck when I was 12.
  • I’m self-taught and I don’t get along very well when I need to take regular classes
  • I’ve never watched Titanic.


I share motivational quotes and inspiring quotes with my readers. Do yo have one you can share?


The greatest failure is not to try.


If you could change one thing in history, what would that be?

The Holocaust





Anne Frank
JFK and Jackie





Abraham Lincoln




ALL PICTURES CREDIT TO: MARINA AMARAL

Follow Marina Amaral on her social media to learn more about her and her work:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marinamaral2?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marinamaralarts/

Website: http://www.marinamaral.com/

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Meet Terayle Hill ...writer of upcoming film "Fatima"

Terayle Marquis Hill ( photo credit -Facebook Page)


Terayle Hill on set of "Being Mary Jane"



  Here's a snippet of my interview with Terayle Hill who was born in Los Angeles and lives in Atlanta. The rest of the interview will be put in "Infinite Visions Magazine", a magazine created for creatives coming out later this year in which I'm Creative Director and Editor of working along with Jamall McMillan. 
Introducing Terayle...He's an actor, director as well as writer. He's acted in shows "The Quad" on BET an most recently "Being Mary Jane." He has written the film "Fatima" which he has an IndieGoGo campaign for it to raise funds for film equipment, compensation for crew members and actors, locations, wardrobe, composing and scoring and crafty (food on set). I know he appreciates any amount of contribution that you can give. 

Chat with Terayle...

Did anyone inspire you to act?

Honestly, I feel like I've always wanted to do it my entire life. I was always (more) interested in Writing and Directing, though. When I was a Sophomore in College and wrote and Directed my first idea; but I was met with the challenge of acting in it too because my lead backed out. Honestly, that was my first time on camera. Based on the opinions of others... I guess I wasn't half bad. I deciding taking it seriously when my friend (and now fiance') Loren Lott introduced me to her agent. Since then, it's shot up the list to one of my biggest passions.

Who do you look up to in the entertainment industry?

I have a few legends that I look up to, and I will give you the top 5: Will Smith, Cuba Gooding Jr., Al Pacino, Denzel Washington,  and of course, Jamie Foxx. But as far as people I look up to who are closer to my age, I'd have to say Michael B. Jordan, Michael Ealy, Nate Parker, and I have a great respect for what Kevin Hart has done too! If I got to work with any of them on screen, it would be an honor.

Not only are you're an actor but also a director. I've watched the short that you directed and also played a small part in it "Largo", what did you enjoy about directing versus acting?

Great question. Like I mentioned, my love for Directing (or Production in general) was instilled in me much before I got in front of the camera. I just graduated from Clark Atlanta University's Film Program! So Directing has always been a goal of mine. But now I don't know which I like better... I guess it's whichever I'm doing at the time. And actors job is to show up to set and be who they have been casted to be. However, the Director is there at the start of the Production and gets to be there until the final project is exported and completed. I think that's the only difference as far as gratification.


Will there be a full feature film of "Largo"? I have to admit that there was more that I wanted to know about the story.


 Ahh... I'll have a conversation with the writer and get back to you. Major shoutout to Javon Johnson as well. He believed in me enough to allot me that awesome opportunity so again... thanks JJ!"


I know recently you were filming for the show "Being Mary Jane", can you tell me about the character that you'll be playing ?


I think I can. I know the name can be found online so hopefully I'm not saying too much. But my character is "AKILI". I won't explain how my character is introduced. But I will say my characters story line has to do with Raven Goodwin's character, and I think people are really going to enjoy the episodes my character is a part of.



In one word .. describe yourself.

Willing.








The new film written by Terayle Hill . Description from IndieGoGo campaign page: The film we are trying to create with , "FATIMA" is something original that we feel will not only educate viewers on topics such as "Alzheimer's" and "Foster Care", but will also bring about a different kind of love story to the big screen.



Please follow "Fatima" on social media


"Film and theatre are about capturing moments: things we wish we'd said, heartaches that haven't healed, the thrill of the unknown." 
Unknown -quote from Pinterest 



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